Oregon’s exemption from permit requirement extended

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will renew the Oregon Department of Transportation’s exemption from certain commercial learner’s permit requirements, according to a document published in the Federal Register.

The exemption will allow the department and participating state driver’s licensing agencies to extend the permit timeline from 180 days to a year from the date of issuance without requiring the permit holder to retake the necessary tests.

The Code of Federal Regulations states that a commercial learner’s permit can be valid for no more than 180 days from the date of issuance. Oregon originally received an exemption in April 2015. FMCSA’s renewal decision means that the exemption will be valid through April 2019.

In filing for the original exemption, Oregon argued that the 180-day timeline “adds nothing to the effectiveness of the rule itself.”

“ODOT asserts that neither FMCSA staff nor the states were able to identify any highway safety enhancement arising from this requirement,” the Federal Register document states. “ODOT states that it is unaware of any data suggesting that persons who have not renewed their (commercial learner’s permit) or obtained their (commercial driver’s license) within six months pose less risk on the nation’s highways.

“Adding the bureaucratic requirement for a (commercial learner’s permit) holder to visit a DMV office and pay a fee in order to get a second six months of (commercial learner’s permit) validity will add unnecessary workload to offices already stretched to the limit,” ODOT said in its application. “ODOT is confident there would be no negative impact on safety if the exemption is granted.”

FMCSA agreed, saying in the Federal Register document that “safety would not be diminished by allowing a validity period of one year for the (commercial learner’s permit).”

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